Gun seized from 16-year-old high student at Chelsea school

CHELSEA, Mass. — A 16-year-old boy is facing charges after police say he was stopped inside his school in Chelsea with a handgun in his waistband.

The administrators who noticed it confiscated the weapon, placed the school on lockdown and called the Chelsea Police.

“They said no one’s in trouble,” said classmate Dashaun James. “They said to stay in the classroom until everything is clear. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Police kept a presence at the school throughout much of the night. Officers say the 9mm gun was loaded. It happened Thursday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Charter Academy on Hawthorne Street in Chelsea.

No student, staff, or teacher was threatened, according to police who are still trying to figure out why he had the weapon.

“Thankfully no injuries were reported,” said Chelsea Police in a statement. The student was not from Chelsea, but no other information was shared because he is a juvenile.

The gun was recovered by officers and school administrators according to a statement from Chelsea Police.

Phoenix Charter Academy Chelsea is a public charter high school that opened in 2006, and served about 75 students, according to its website.

“School officials implemented all safety procedures effectively, quickly confiscating the weapon, placing the school on lockdown, and calling the Chelsea Police,” said Beth Anderson, Founder & CEO at Phoenix Charter Academy. “Given recent national events, the school had recently reviewed its safety policies and procedures, ensuring that we have strong security measures in place to create a safe environment for our students.”

The school also notified parents and calmed fears of any comparisons to the mass shooting in Uvalde, saying this was not going to put a damper on their graduation day.

“We are called Phoenix, we rise,” said Anderson. “This is an unfortunate incident that happened at school today. We are public school educators. We are prepared for unfortunate incidents. Uvalde is a completely different scenario and I think combining them inappropriately creates hysteria.”

Still, it’s something that has their minds and hearts racing

“It was racing at first and then I drink some water and I was good. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen to us because that’s scary,” said James who never would expect this from that student. “I don’t really talk to him, he’s quiet.”

“I don’t know what these young kids have in their minds, I don’t know where they get the firearms,” said Luis Ramirez who has a friend at the school. “Good thing they didn’t open the firearm inside the school.”

It’s unclear if the student had the gun on him all day or if he got it somewhere late in the day.

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